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EJ205 1996 Brighton coupe
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663 Posts
A tarp, extension cord, shotgun (to keep critters away)... Problem solved.

seriously though, lower control arms bend VERY easy. I wouldn't be surprised if everything else was ok. Even then, the control arm attaches to the subframe, and the rear mount would likely bend/brake before it bent the chassis. Subframes are replaceable.

Replacing strut towers would be scary, trying to locate the mounting points perfectly would be scary. But if you have a daily drive with the same chassis, it would be a good guide and easy to get dimensions from that one.
 

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Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
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770 Posts
Discussion Starter #123
2001 Impreza L | WRX swapped | lightweight daily driver project

After MUCH, MUCH thought and looking over....I've decided to keep the car and try to fix it. :banana:

Still getting a second car in the mean time, but I'm going to gradually attempt to fix the L over the next 6 months or so. It'll be drivable soon (very long driveway).....but to get it legally back on the road will take some time. Once winter is fully here progress will slow a bit. I'll also take this time to fix and install some other stuff.

I've already bought a new fender.....also mocked up the v1-4 bumper just to see how it'll look. I took some pictures from the good side of the car for motivation. :lol:



My first order of business is to get a useable control arm, and go for an alignment. If they CAN'T get it within spec, I'll know something else is bent. Almost everything else seems fine. The strut and axle are probably junk....but the JDM crossmember, sway bar, steering rack, and strut tower look fine.

Then I'll fix all the core support stuff up front...replace the hood, airbags, lights, ect....and finally get the R-title to legally get it back on the road and insured.

Hopefully I'll get around to most of this list too:
--fix rust at rear 1/4's and rockers
--pull engine to re-seal some stuff and install goodies
--lots of weight reduction
--respray wing
--possibly respray whole car
--install rear discs
And more stuffs
 

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Baby❤Daddy
98L Wagon
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27,852 Posts
well hot damn. i thought you'd talked yourself out of the car. good luck!


if you want to go alum control arms, i have a set i'd be willing to part with..
 

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Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
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770 Posts
Discussion Starter #127
2001 Impreza L | WRX swapped | lightweight daily driver project

Hope you get this back on the road asap bud. Let me know what else you need. I have the control arm, both airbags, strut/spring, etc.

Thanks. Gonna try to have it ready in the spring.

Just sent ya another message on NABISCO. Might still need that control arm. :lol:

well hot damn. i thought you'd talked yourself out of the car. good luck!


if you want to go alum control arms, i have a set i'd be willing to part with..

I thought I talked myself out of it too...
....but then I picked up the bumper from paint, and my decision was made. :lol: After taking the damaged parts off and looking it over, I started to seriously consider fixing it...but the new bumper sealed the deal.

As for aluminum control arms, I'll probably want a set later on, once it's ready to be drivable.....but for now I'm just getting a replacement steel one to get the car moveable.

Glad to hear you and the car are alright! Wrecks are the worst. If you need any parts let me know. My stockpile is getting a little out of control.
Thanks, and will do! I won't need some stuff right away, but when I do I'll ask and see what you got.
 

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Registered
EJ205 1996 Brighton coupe
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663 Posts
Glad to hear you are going to keep it. It will be fun re-building the front of the car. I expect LOADS of photos! I want to cut up my car, struts forward, just to shave weight. interested to see where this goes now that you have a daily driver as well.
 

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Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
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770 Posts
Discussion Starter #129
2001 Impreza L | WRX swapped | lightweight daily driver project

Glad to hear you are going to keep it. It will be fun re-building the front of the car. I expect LOADS of photos! I want to cut up my car, struts forward, just to shave weight. interested to see where this goes now that you have a daily driver as well.
Yea, should be a fun/interesting process. I've never fixed core support stuff before, so I still have a ton of reading and question asking to do first.

Not sure what direction I want to go. The car may not go back to being a daily.....but it won't become a 'racecar' either. I still want it safe and legal to drive on the road all the time. Either way, I should be able to shave a bunch more weight by the time it's fixed. Hoping to be in the mid 2500's. Currently about ~2680ish.

Still on the hunt for a daily too. Prices are crazy for used WRX's.
 

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Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
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770 Posts
Discussion Starter #130 (Edited)
2001 Impreza L | WRX swapped | lightweight daily driver project

Over the past week, I was able to get the car running and "driving" again. Obviously, everything will be taken back apart, since there's still a TON of stuff to do. I only have a few iPhone pictures right now because my computer won't let me upload the ones from my DSLR.

Replaced only the control arm and end-link, and got it back on 4 wheels. Then checked timing....which to my surprise was good....and started the engine. Amazingly, it seems to be running/driving/boosting well.


So until I get my pictures, here's a short driving video. Mostly showing the lane I live down. Having a long driveway like this is awesome to help keep the car running.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUkq3Z3r1g8&feature=youtu.be
 

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Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
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770 Posts
Discussion Starter #132 (Edited)
2001 Impreza L | WRX swapped | currently under construction

^^^^ thanks. Can't wait to have it freshly painted once everything is all fixed.

-----------

Here's some stuff I picked up recently, and things I was working on before the accident. Finally got more pictures from my camera uploaded.

Got this little tool recently. Should help with some stuff. ;)



Besides the steel control arm, I also picked up a set of gc8 aluminum arms with all the washers. Not sure when I'll install those. Also got airbags....they probably won't go in for a while either.



A few months ago I finished one of the rear knuckles. Haven't had time to dunk the other yet. The picture next to the rusty knuckle is after 15+ hours total in the tank, BEFORE paint. Last picture is after paint.

Also traded in the junkyard calipers & brackets as cores for some reman ones, for a great price. Only painted one set so far. Non-painted reman on the left (obviously).









Fiberglass cover things have 90% of the fiberglass done. Haven't touched them since before the accident. I gotta trim the excess and add some layers in a few spots....then sanding, painting and mounting. The epoxy-resin & fiberglass combo seemed to work very well.



 

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Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
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770 Posts
Discussion Starter #133
Back to the repair stuff from last week:

The only obvious suspension damage was the passenger control arm and endlink, so I replace those. Once I got the car back on 4 wheels, I was expecting a massive toe out or something.....but the alignment looks good.

I'm still expecting something else to be bent....

Below you can see that the wheel is still centered in the wheel arch...compared to the picture before the new control arm.








To reinstall the airbox, I needed to hammer the core support back out....just to temporarily fit it and be able to close the hood. :lol:

I've been starting and driving it every few days to keep it running. It feels fine while driving....no weird shakes or pulling to either side. Transmission feels fine, and engine feels good.







I'll be starting the major repairs shortly, so it'll all be coming out soon. Noticed a leak at the rear output shaft on the tranny, so that'll come out at some point too. Lots of work ahead.......
 

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Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
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770 Posts
Discussion Starter #137
Came across some sweet PDF files from the service manual showing body/frame dimensions. I've also been talking to people that know a lot more than me, and got a better idea of what I need to do. So I did a bunch of measuring and comparing body points.....I was happy to see the strut tower bolts were all still equally spaced and symmetrical from the center line of the car......the measurements for all 3 bolts on each side are practically perfect.

There is a slight bend on the front of the passenger side frame rail....it's not very much, and only towards the very front. Shouldn't be a problem.

I made a tram gauge kinda thing to help with the measuring. Its not as perfect as a real one...but it's damn close, and MUCH more accurate than only using a tape measure.

The picture with green lines is showing the measurements I've checked that are still good/symmetrical. Still have more to do...









With the damage being so far forward of the struts, it should mean drivability won't be affected.
It's just the very front of the frame rail on the passenger side that's a little bent. Most easily seen where the bumper beam bolts up. The holes were around a 1/8"-1/4" off.

You can also see it where the bumper beam slides into the frame rails. The driver side is basically centered in the opening, while the passenger side is not.
2nd pic = pass. side (damaged)
3rd pic = driver side



Passenger side


Driver side


So I picked up some chains, 2 come-alongs, and started trying to straighten that side. I pulled from many different angles....slowly....and was able to get about 1/16"-1/8" of movement so far. If I can get another 1/32"-1/16" I'll be happy.

Compared to the pictures above, you can see things are lined up a little better here.










So that means it's almost time to start drilling the million spot welds, and replace the core support stuff. From what I've gathered so far, I'll need the upper rail, a lower passenger panel, passenger wheel tub, and a few other panels.

I've outlined the main panels in red that I'll need to replace in these pics:



 

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GF OBS-T, GM RS EJ20, SF EJ20
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4,973 Posts
Nice car, glad you kept the car - love the lightweight setup & frame machine!

Looks like its coming together easier than anticipated, if this continues I'd say turbo upgrade (I happen to have a brand new in box HKS GT Turbo upgrade designed for ej20's in the classifieds (HKS's goal was fast response with very good topend power increase, pretty sure folks have made 380'ish WHP with these) - see my subaru parts) :)!
 

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Premium Member
2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
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770 Posts
Discussion Starter #140
Finally picked up another car last Monday. Already been busy fixing it, so there's no new progress on the Impreza. I'll get some more pictures soon.....it's been raining or already dark outside every chance I get some free time.

2006 Legacy GT Limited, 5 speed







Not sure how I feel about it yet. It's just sooo much different than the Impreza.....so much heavier and larger, and so much more electronics and stuff. Makes me miss how simple and raw the Impreza is. It will certainly make a nice daily though....

I do however, like the 2.5 engine so far....I've only driven the 2.2 and 2.0 before this. The power/boost down low feels much better than the ej205. The 05-06 LGT's basically have an ej257 which is pretty cool I guess.
 
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